The Pulse 3: Fear

the pulse volume 3 fear cover trade paperback
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Art: 6/10

The D-Man story

Loses the direction and feel of the characters

Comic Info

Comic Name: The Pulse

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Michael Gaydos/Olivier Coipel

# of Issues: 5

Release Date: 2006

the pulse #12 cover luke cage

The Pulse #12

Reprints The Pulse #11-14 and New Avengers (1) Annual #1 (November 2005-June 2006).  Jessica Jones is about to give birth, and she’s worried about what the future will hold for her unborn child.  With both she and Luke being genetically altered, Jessica wonders if she or her child will even survive the birth…but Luke has an even bigger surprise for Jessica.  Meanwhile, Ben Urich finds a lead on one of the most unexpected and unusual Avengers, and Ben is about to discover the darker side of superpowers.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis, The Pulse Volume 3:  Fear is a Marvel Comics superhero collection.  Following The Pulse Volume 2:  Secret War, the series features art by Michael Gaydos and Olivier Coipel.  The issues were also collected as Jessica Jones:  The Pulse—The Complete Collection, and New Avengers (1) Annual #1 was also part of New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis:  The Complete Collection—Volume 2.

When Jessica Jones exploded onto the scene in Alias, she was a really exciting new character.  She was an unapologetic mess.  She drank too much.  She swore a lot.  She slept with who she wanted to sleep with…which got her into more messes.  When Alias ended, Bendis decided to clean up Jessica by making her an expectant mother…and kind of ruined the character in the process.

This collection is the essential conclusion of the “let’s clean up Jesssica Jones” storyline.  Unlike a lot of the previous storylines in The Pulse, this is largely untouched by big events series (which is nice and good), but it still feels like a neutered version of Alias.  The edge is gone and even if Jessica swears using cartoon symbols, it does have the same visceral feel of the Alias series…and it feels like a bit of a bastardization of the character.

the pulse #13 cover jessica jones baby

The Pulse #13

Jessica was an individual and even though much of her life was in shambles because of her past, she owned it in her own ways.  She took the pain (although it was buried) and channeled it into anger in her own search for justice.  It wasn’t always healthy, but it also didn’t feel like it compromised herself.  Here, it doesn’t feel like the Jessica Jones of Alias.  It feels a bit like a Stepford Wife (granted a little rougher than a Stepford Wife).

The other problem with this collection is The Pulse itself.  The series was supposed to be about news people.  In the collection, Ben Urich investigates D-Man.  It is a nice, sad story of a hero (like Jessica) who is broken…but his nature is a mental collapse.  It is a good story, but it feels like it is forced in to the collection just to stick with the theme of the book…I wish the series had been more like this which feels along the lines of Kurt Busiek’s Marvels series.

The Pulse was a problematic book that arose from a great book.  The series never lived up to its potential and felt like a cast off of stories that Bendis didn’t know what to do with.  It took interesting characters and changed them in unnatural ways in regards to their past actions and felt like a hodgepodge of events instead of a slice of life for those stuck in the Marvel Universe which it feels like Bendis was trying to achieve.  The Pulse ended with this collection…and that is a good thing.

Related Links:

Alias 1

Alias 2:  Come Home

Alias 3:  The Underground

Alias 4:  The Secret Origins of Jessica Jones

The Pulse 1:  Thin Air

The Pulse 2:  Secret War

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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